TSL Journal Club
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Suggested reading for TSL students and postdocs
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Plant Cell: A High-Affinity Binding Site for the AVR9 Peptide Elicitor of Cladosporium fulvum Is Present on Plasma Membranes of Tomato and Other Solanaceous Plants

Plant Cell: A High-Affinity Binding Site for the AVR9 Peptide Elicitor of Cladosporium fulvum Is Present on Plasma Membranes of Tomato and Other Solanaceous Plants | TSL Journal Club | Scoop.it

The race-specific Cladosporium fulvum peptide elicitor AVR9, which specifically induces a hypersensitive response in tomato genotypes carrying the Cf-9 resistance gene, was labeled with iodine-125 at the N-terminal tyrosine residue and used in binding studies. 125I-AVR9 showed specific, saturable, and reversible binding to plasma membranes isolated from leaves of tomato cultivar Moneymaker without Cf resistance genes (MM-Cf0) or from a near-isogenic genotype with the Cf-9 resistance gene (MM-Cf9). The dissociation constant was found to be 0.07 nM, and the receptor concentration was 0.8 pmol/mg microsomal protein. Binding was highly influenced by pH and the ionic strength of the binding buffer and by temperature, indicating the involvement of both electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. Binding kinetics and binding capacity were similar for membranes of the MM-Cf0 and MM-Cf9 genotypes. In all solanaceous plant species tested, an AVR9 binding site was present, whereas in the nonsolanaceous species that were analyzed, such a binding site could not be identified. The ability of membranes isolated from different solanaceous plant species to bind AVR9 seems to correlate with the presence of members of the Cf-9 gene family, but whether this correlation is functional remains to be determined.

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Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, October 7, 2011 5:53 AM
This remains a mystery. What is this high-affinity binding site?
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PNAS: Tomato Cf resistance proteins mediate recognition of cognate homologous effectors from fungi pathogenic on dicots and monocots

PNAS: Tomato Cf resistance proteins mediate recognition of cognate homologous effectors from fungi pathogenic on dicots and monocots | TSL Journal Club | Scoop.it

Most fungal effectors characterized so far are species-specific and facilitate virulence on a particular host plant. During infection of its host tomato, Cladosporium fulvum secretes effectors that function as virulence factors in the absence of cognate Cf resistance proteins and induce effector-triggered immunity in their presence. Here we show that homologs of the C. fulvum Avr4 and Ecp2 effectors are present in other pathogenic fungi of the Dothideomycete class, including Mycosphaerella fijiensis, the causal agent of black Sigatoka disease of banana. We demonstrate that the Avr4 homolog of M. fijiensis is a functional ortholog of C. fulvum Avr4 that protects fungal cell walls against hydrolysis by plant chitinases through binding to chitin and, despite the low overall sequence homology, triggers a Cf-4-mediated hypersensitive response (HR) in tomato. Furthermore, three homologs of C. fulvum Ecp2 are found in M. fijiensis, one of which induces different levels of necrosis or HR in tomato lines that lack or contain a putative cognate Cf-Ecp2 protein, respectively. In contrast to Avr4, which acts as a defensive virulence factor, M. fijiensis Ecp2 likely promotes virulence by interacting with a putative host target causing host cell necrosis, whereas Cf-Ecp2 could possibly guard the virulence target of Ecp2 and trigger a Cf-Ecp2-mediated HR. Overall our data suggest that Avr4 and Ecp2 represent core effectors that are collectively recognized by single cognate Cf-proteins. Transfer of these Cf genes to plant species that are attacked by fungi containing these cognate core effectors provides unique ways for breeding disease-resistant crops.

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Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, October 7, 2011 5:53 AM
A wonderful case of an insight that emerges from basic research with great potential for applications
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PNAS: Intragenic recombination generated two distinct Cf genes that mediate AVR9 recognition in the natural population of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium

PNAS: Intragenic recombination generated two distinct Cf genes that mediate AVR9 recognition in the natural population of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium | TSL Journal Club | Scoop.it

Resistance gene Cf-9 of cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) confers recognition of the AVR9 elicitor protein of the fungal pathogen Cladosporium fulvum. The Cf-9 locus, containing Cf-9 and four homologs (Hcr9s), originates from Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium (Lp). We examined naturally occurring polymorphism in Hcr9s that confer AVR9 recognition in the Lp population. AVR9 recognition occurs frequently throughout this population. In addition to Cf-9, we discovered a second gene in Lp, designated 9DC, which also confers AVR9 recognition. Compared with Cf-9, 9DC is more polymorphic, occurs more frequently, and is more widely spread throughout the Lp population, suggesting that 9DC is older than Cf-9. The sequences of Cf-9 and 9DC suggest that Cf-9 evolved from 9DC by intragenic recombination between 9DC and another Hcr9. The fact that the 9DC and Cf-9 proteins differ in 61 aa residues, and both mediate recognition of AVR9, shows that in nature Hcr9 proteins with the same recognitional specificity can vary significantly.

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Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, October 7, 2011 5:57 AM
The birth of an R gene. Thorough study including a biogeographical perspective
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Science: Conserved Fungal LysM Effector Ecp6 Prevents Chitin-Triggered Immunity in Plants

Science: Conserved Fungal LysM Effector Ecp6 Prevents Chitin-Triggered Immunity in Plants | TSL Journal Club | Scoop.it

Multicellular organisms activate immunity upon recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Chitin is the major component of fungal cell walls, and chitin oligosaccharides act as PAMPs in plant and mammalian cells. Microbial pathogens deliver effector proteins to suppress PAMP-triggered host immunity and to establish infection. Here, we show that the LysM domain–containing effector protein Ecp6 of the fungal plant pathogen Cladosporium fulvum mediates virulence through perturbation of chitin-triggered host immunity. During infection, Ecp6 sequesters chitin oligosaccharides that are released from the cell walls of invading hyphae to prevent elicitation of host immunity. This may represent a common strategy of host immune suppression by fungal pathogens, because LysM effectors are widely conserved in the fungal kingdom.

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Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, October 7, 2011 5:57 AM
The function of fungal LysM effectors revealed